What to Look for in Colorado, Illinois, Elsewhere Primaries?

NEW YORK (AP) — Seven states are set to host primaries Tuesday as the nation comes to terms with last week’s stunning Supreme Court ruling eliminating the constitutional right to abortion.

This week’s nomination contests could provide the first clues as to whether the political landscape has shifted. Abortion is particularly relevant in Colorado, where GOP voters decide whether to nominate a rare, abortion rights-supporting Republican to the US Senate.

And in Illinois, a Donald Trump-backed congressman this weekend ignited a political storm by celebrating the overthrow of Roe v. Wade as “a victory for white life”, phrasing that her spokesperson later called a “stumbling block” and intended to be “right to life.”

The primaries will also provide new insight into the state of the Republican Party, with the focal point in virtually every GOP contest being allegiance to Trump and his baseless conspiracy theories. The Republicans who have pulled out in the first place, including a senator in Oklahoma and a congressman in Mississippi, face tough challenges.

Democrats have their own challenges. Voters in Illinois will decide a rare incumbent primary for a seat in the House, while in South Carolina, Democrats will choose which candidate will take on South Carolina’s Republican Senator Tim Scott this fall.

In total, primary elections will take place Tuesday in Colorado, Illinois, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah. Nebraska is holding a special election.

What to watch:

COLORADO

GOP businessman Joe O’Dea, who has publicly speaking about his support for abortion rights, is running for the nomination to face Democratic Senator Michael Bennet this fall. O’Dea’s biggest rival is State Representative Ron Hanks, who is against abortion under all circumstances and attended the January 6 meeting that preceded the US Capitol uprising.

O’Dea said he supports a ban on late-term abortions and government funding of abortions, but the decision to terminate a pregnancy in the early months is “between a person and their God.”

While Colorado has been trending Democratic for the past decade, Tuesday’s major Republican primaries will show whether far-right candidates are making progress in their quest to face undisputed Democrats like Bennet, Governor Jared Polis and Secretary of State Jena. Griswold, who led the national fight against the 2020 election deniers.

One of them is Republican Tina Peters, a district election conspiracy theorist sued for tampering with voting devices and posting data online. Peters wants to remove Griswold as Colorado’s top election official, despite calls from the state GOP for Peters to suspend her campaign. She’s up against Republican Pam Anderson, a former head of the Secretary of State’s Association and defender of Colorado’s mail-in election system.

Colorado Congressional primaries will gauge the stamina of first-term GOP firebrand Rep. Lauren Boebert in a sprawling western Colorado district leaning more Republican after redistricting. She takes on Senator Don Coram, a hemp farmer and moderate GOP.

In the Republican race to take on Polis, former Denver mayor Greg Lopez will face Heidi Ganahl, the only Republican elected statewide as regent of the University of Colorado.

ILLINOIS

As he is in most GOP matches, Trump is at the center of Illinois’ Republican primaries for governor.

Darren Bailey, a conservative rancher who earned Trump’s backing over the weekend and often reads from the Bible in campaign videos, is part of a Republican field of six candidates. His rivals include Richard Irvin, the first black mayor of Illinois’ second-largest suburb, who received $50 million in support from billionaire Ken Griffin but was heavily targeted by Democrats who see Bailey as an easier match for Pritzker. .

While Trump endorsed Bailey, he also campaigned alongside first-term Rep. Mary Miller, who is challenging five-term Rep. Rodney Davis in one of the state’s two sitting primaries.

But at Saturday’s meeting, Miller described the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade as “a victory for white life.” A spokesman later said she intended to say the decision was a victory for a “right to life.”

But the Illinois congresswoman is no stranger to provocative statements. Shortly after joining the House, Miller quoted Adolf Hitlerand said he was right when he said that “whoever has the youth has the future.”

Davis is a powerful, more moderate legislator who is the highest-ranking Republican on the House Administration Committee, which deals with electoral law and the Capitol complex.

Meanwhile, two Democratic incumbents — Representatives Sean Casten and Marie Newman — are pitted for a seat in Chicago. Also on the Democratic side, about two dozen candidates are fighting to succeed Rep. Bobby Rush, the only lawmaker to ever defeat Barack Obama. They include John Jackson, son of civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Karin Norington-Reaves, who has Rush’s backing.

NEW YORK

Governor Kathy Hochul, who was vaulted into office last fall when… Andrew Cuomo has resigned tries to keep her job amid a sexual harassment scandal.

Hochul, a Democrat from western New York, faces challenges from elected New York City public advocate Jumaane Williams, and Rep. Tom Suozzi, a moderate congressman from Long Island.

Tuesday’s election will affect New York State offices and state assemblies, but primaries for seats in the US House and State Senate will be held on August 23. Those elections were postponed due to a reshuffle process that had forced a court to discard new political cards.

Hochul, who served as Lieutenant Governor of Cuomo for six years, promised to restore New Yorkers’ confidence in the government after taking office last summer, but she hit a nerve. big stumbling block in April, when she chose her lieutenant governor was arrested in a federal corruption investigation.

Williams, a progressive runner to Hochul’s left, said Hochul is either “consistently embarrassingly out of the loop, or shamefully enabling through her passivity.” Suozzi, who runs to Hochul’s right, says she’s not tough enough on crime, suggesting she should have gone further to harden the state’s bail law.

On the Republican side Rep. Lee Zeldin is considered the frontrunner in a crowded field that has Andrew Giulianithe son of the former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani† Westchester County Director Rob Astorino; and businessman Harry Wilson. Former Vice President Mike Pence has endorsed Zeldin, who also enjoys the support of the state GOP and the Conservative Party, but Trump has stayed out of the race.

UTAH

The Republican primary to the US Senate pits one of Trump’s closest allies, incumbent GOP Senator Mike Lee, against two challengers who have for months questioned Lee’s loyalty to the former president.

Former state legislator Becky Edwards and political agent Ally Isom have attacked Lee as a divisive politician who cares less about governing than about television appearances and winning Trump’s favor. Unlike Lee, neither voted for Trump in 2020.

Both Republican challengers have pointed to post-election text messages Lee sent to Trump’s chief of staff show his early involvement in an effort to undo the election. Edwards also stood out by saying she disagreed with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to revisit Roe v. Wade.

The Senate primaries test whether Trump’s kind of divisive politics and conspiracy theories resonate with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who make up a majority of Utah’s population.

In November, the winner will face independent Evan McMullin, a former Republican who won the support of the state Democratic Party in April.

MISSISSIPPI

Congressional primaries are rare in Mississippi, but on Tuesday, two of the incumbent Republicans fighting to keep their jobs in the outflow against opponents of their own party.

Rep. Steven Palazzo is seeking a seventh term and was considered vulnerable after being accused in a 2021 congressional ethics report of abusing his office by misspending campaign funds.

Rep. Michael Guest is seeking a third term. He voted to set up an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol uprising and was forced to a runoff amid criticisms of his disloyalty to Trump.

Both Palazzo and Guest failed to cross the 50% threshold to win outright in their June 7 primary. Palazzo takes on Mike Ezell, the sheriff of a coastal county, while Guest takes on Michael Cassidy, a former Navy fighter pilot who has emphasized his allegiance to Trump.

OKLAHOMA

Republicans will elect two candidates for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

Crowd of high-profile GOP candidates compete to replace pension sen. Jim Inhofeincluding Trump’s former Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott PruittWho resigned from his post in Washington under a cloud of ethical scandals. Other candidates include Rep. Markwayne Mullin; TW Shannon, the state legislature’s first Black House speaker; and Luke Holland, Inhofe’s old chief of staff.

Republican Senator James Lankford faces his own primary test targeting Trump.

Lankford, one of the most conservative members of the Senate, has faced backlash from Trump loyalists for failing to embrace the former president’s lies about electoral fraud. Lankford faces off against Tulsa evangelical pastor Jackson Lahmeyer, a political newcomer supported by Michael FlynnTrump’s former national security adviser.

NEBRASKA

A judge will sentence a longtime congressman in Nebraska on Tuesday Jeff Fortenberry on Campaign Contribution Cost on the same day, voters will decide who should serve the Republican term. fortbes resigned in March.

Republican Mike Flood is preferred to win the Republican district election over Democrat Patty Pansing Brooks. Both are state legislators.

Regardless of who wins the special election, Flood and Pansing Brooks will face each other again in November’s general election. The Eastern District of Nebraska includes Lincoln and parts of suburban Omaha, as well as the rural area.

Associated Press writers Michelle Price in New York; Sara Burnett in Chicago; Sam Metz in Salt Lake City; Jim Anderson in Denver; Grant Schulte of Omaha, Neb.; Sean Murphy at Oklahoma City; and Jeffrey Collins in Columbia, SC, contributed to this report.

Steve Peoples, The Associated Press

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